On a rainy Friday morning, I woke to find an email from AT&T telling me the seemingly great news that there was a newly remodeled store in Angola, Indiana, to check out.
One slight hitch here. I live nowhere near Angola, Indiana.
Come to find out, upon posting this on Twitter, the snafu was not unique to me. Quite the contrary: Many AT&T users around the country received it. So perhaps they failed to do a simple zip-code sort before sending the email. No big deal, right?
Wrong. It’s not like AT&T is already a much-beloved brand. This just makes it worse. Moreover, location-based marketing is becoming more and more important and rich in potential … look no further than the booming growth rate of Foursquare and other geosocial platforms. So AT&T — a mobile communication provider who therefore should understand location-based marketing as well as any large corporation — really looks far afield in this one.
Oh, one more thing. Here’s what the email looks like with images off (my default):
Granted many of the images in the original email were decorative and, um, not all that great to begin with, but the inducement (25% off coupon) doesn’t even appear with images off or in an alt-tag message. That’s both a usability #fail and a marketing #fail. Maybe Karlyn Morissette needs to talk to them about her Five Commandments of Email Marketing. Because this effort looks misplaced in more than one way.